German and American scientists have developed a new method of fighting viruses. Probably, he could become a weapon against the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
The new method has already been tested against hepatitis B and adenoviruses. It turned out that viruses in cell cultures are reliably blocked.
The secret lies in the nanotraps developed from genetic material. These nanostructures, made up of DNA, can mechanically trap and neutralize viruses.
They were developed by researchers from the Technical University of Munich, the Helmholtz Center in Munich, and the Brendays University in the United States.
As a result, scientists from the Technical University of Munich developed a method for creating self-assembled objects the size of a virus from DNA. According to the researchers, if such nanobodies are made hollow and covered from the inside with virus-binding molecules, then they can be used as virus traps.
However, none of the objects that have been created using DNA origami technology since the 1960s could have captured the entire virus. The problem is that they were too small, according to a press release from the Technical University of Munich, citing study leader Professor Hendrik Dietz.
As a result, the authors decided to construct hollow bodies for virus traps from three-dimensional triangular plates that were assembled in the shape of an icosahedron. It is an object made up of twenty triangular surfaces. And so that DNA plates assembled into larger geometric structures, their edges were made slightly beveled.
If you use the precise shape of the triangular plates, you can program the shape and size of the objects you want, Dietz says. It will also be possible to produce objects containing up to 180 subunits.
Now the authors want to test the development on mice and then on humans. The research was published in Nature Materials.